Admitting that it's time to break up is never easy. Sometimes it's difficult because we're kidding ourselves and refusing to see that the relationship is past its 'sell by' date. Most people have an amazing capacity to ignore that something's off so they don't have to deal with the relationship ending.
But even if you know something is wrong, making the decision to actually call it quits is difficult no matter who you are. Being scared of being single, not wanting to hurt someone's feelings, being worried about making the wrong decision — there are so many reasons why we don't actually want to take the leap. But sometimes you just have to.
"If you have frustrations you have not addressed, it is often better to wait until you have had a chance to see your partner's response to your frustrations and see if there is a different perspective or behavior change that will make things better," Carlyle Jansen, author of Sex Yourself, tells Bustle. "It is not fair or even in your best interests to break things off before you've given your partner and the relationship and chance to fix it."
But if you're having problems, you talk to them, and it's still not getting any better, sometimes it's just time to move on. Here are the things to be on the lookout for:
1. You're Feeling Stingy
I know money isn't everything, but sometimes the way you're feeling with your wallet can tell you a lot about your relationship. “When emotions are generously flowing, the partners are also loose and generous on their spending on one another," Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle. "But when the emotions begin to ebb, the receding partner doesn’t feel as financially generous.... They begin to simultaneously withhold both their emotions — and their money. When the love goes, so does the money.” So if you notice you — or your partner — has been having some spending changes, the love might be dwindling.
2. There's No Desire For Quality Time
It should be a no-brainer, but it's big indicator. "When a person stops having the time or desire to be with you, then you know that your relationship is on life support system, and that you might just have to be the one who has the guts to pull the plug," relationship coach and psychic medium Cindi Sansone-Braff, author of Why Good People Can't Leave Bad Relationships, tells Bustle. It may be that you notice it in your partner or in you, but if there's some avoidance going on, you need to look at why it's happening. If you can't bring yourself to want to spend time with them then it's time to move on.
3. Your Relationship Isn't Making You Happy
Yeah, we all go through more difficult periods and that's normal. But if you've been working on your happiness and still can't seem to get there — despite making sure your life is in order, it's time to look at the relationship, because it might be the culprit. And if your relationship isn't making you happy — or is actively making you unhappy — it's time to move along.
4. You Can't Picture A Future With Them
I don't mean white picket fence and a big wedding, because a lot of us have no interest in that. But if you're someone who wants stability yet you can't imagine yourself with this person even a year or two from now, it may be time to find someone who fits into your life more easily.
5. Your Partner Has Checked Out
Sometimes you need to get out just because your partner isn't really involved anymore. If they've checked out but don't have the guts to break up with you, you might have to make sure things move along. If they start speaking in cliches that show they're thinking of it ending like 'Maybe we’re just not meant to be'; 'Relationships shouldn’t be this much work'; or 'Maybe we’re too different,' relationship coach and therapist Anita Chlipala tells Bustle it's a sign.
6. You're Emotionally Drained
Relationships are supposed to build you up and, while they might be stressful at times, on the whole, they should not be making your life more difficult. "Your partner might be draining you emotionally when you spend an unhealthy amount of time focused on intrusive thoughts," psychologist Nikki Martinez tells Bustle. "When you are thinking about what they are doing, who they are with, what they are doing with this person, or what the nature of this relationship is — this can be draining." If you feel like your partner is draining you without giving anything back, it's time to move on.
7. You've Become Too Different
Sometimes moving on isn't anyone's fault. Sometimes you've just been together for a long time and you've grown into different people — people who just aren't necessarily compatible anymore. If you find that the relationship is too much work and that you aren't the right fit anymore, no matter what you've tried, you may just need to bite the bullet and move on. There are other people who will be on the same page.
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